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Looked at all my hives today, this was the first day above 30 degrees in over three weeks and I thought maybe I would find a bunch on dead colonies but 18 of 18 are still going. 16 of them are large clusters one is the size of a soft ball in a nuc and another hive the cluster is about 2-3 soft balls. They are starting to get light though. I will probably have to start feeding in a few weeks if it goes cold again.
 

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I didnt peek, but i saw them moving out the dead, prolly 50 bees total. Woke a couple up by blowing on them. Knocked on the hive, they were buzzing LOUDLY
 

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I saw lots of bees out cleansing and not too many dead bees. I am pleased. 46 degrees here. I also looked under the cover and saw only capped stores of honey soooo.. they are not up in the top supers yet. I'll keep my fingers crossed. I am looking forward to spring.

RKR
 

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I have a newbie question. If I rap on the box and there is no sound are my bees likely dead? I had a strong hive in two deeps and a super full of honey but was out of town when the cold front came thru. There is a bit of honey running out of the entrance. It might be in the high 50's tomorrow-is that warm enough to check?
 

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It might be in the high 50's tomorrow-is that warm enough to check?
High 50's should be good enough to check, not a full hive inspection (ie frame by frame), but a look under the cover,and down a few boxes (if necessary) to see where they are.
I think a better indicator of if the hive is alive or not will be, if the bees are out flying in that warm of weather. I would make sure that the entrance is clear of died bees, and see if a bunch of bees come out and do "cleansing flights".
Then I would look under the cover and make sure that the bees are not in the top super already ( if so you will need to feed them dry sugar, ie Mountain Camp Method, do a search and you will find tons of info). If no bees are flying, then yes they are likely dead or at least need further investigation.
This is the best advice I can give you. I am sure their are other more experienced folk that can give both of us a few more tips on what to do this time of year.
Good luck,

RKR
 

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I have a newbie question. If I rap on the box and there is no sound are my bees likely dead?.......There is a bit of honey running out of the entrance. :eek:
If you put your ear right on the entrance and your hearing is halfway decent you will hear bees if they are alive. You'll have to listen harder the smaller the cluster is. You don't actually NEED to knock on their front door. If you don't hear anything, look further. If they are wicked loud, look further.

Honey running out the entrance? I guess make sure its not water first. If its not then I think you should look closer. Healthy bees don't let their food run out the front door.
 

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If you put your ear right on the entrance and your hearing is halfway decent you will hear bees if they are alive.

If they are very active, putting your ear right on the entrance is a good way to hear a bee buzzing right before she stings you on your ear.
 
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